Seeing networks Big and Small

Seeing networks Big and Small

Networks come in all sizes and shapes. In fact, networks are commonly based on the geographical size they cover, as described in the following list:


  • Local Are Network (LAN): In this type of network, computers are relatively close together, such as within the same office or building.Don't let the descriptor "local" fool you. A LAN doesn't imply that a network is small. A LAN can contains hundreds or even thousands of computer. What makes a network a LAN is that all its connected computers are located within close proximity. Usually a LAN is contained within a single building, but a LAN can extend to several buildings on a campus , provided that the buildings are close to each other (typically within 300 feet of each other although grater distances are possible with special equipment).

  • Wide Area Network (WAN): These Networks span a large geographic territory, such as  an entire city or a region or even a country . WANs are typically used to connect two or more LANs that are relatively far apart.For example , a WAN may connect an office in San Fransisco and an office in New York.The geographic distance, not the number of computers involved , makes a network a WAN. If an office in San Franscisco and an office in new york  each have only one computer, the WAN will have a grand sum of two computers- but will span  more than 3000 miles.

  • Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN): This kid of network is smaller than a typical WAN but larger than a LAN. Typically, a MAN connects two or more LANs within the same city but that are far enough apartthat the networks can't be connected via sample cable or wireless connection.

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